|Publication number||US6516993 B2|
|Application number||US 09/964,958|
|Publication date||Feb 11, 2003|
|Filing date||Sep 27, 2001|
|Priority date||Sep 2, 1999|
|Also published as||CA2376602A1, CA2376602C, DE60045380D1, EP1208307A1, EP1208307A4, EP1208307B1, US6308591, US20020046624, WO2001016496A1|
|Publication number||09964958, 964958, US 6516993 B2, US 6516993B2, US-B2-6516993, US6516993 B2, US6516993B2|
|Inventors||Mark W. Dankow, Christopher W. Forrest, Vincent Mastrangelo, Thomas Sholeen|
|Original Assignee||The Boler Company.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (32), Non-Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (6), Classifications (11), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a divisional application of, and claims of benefit of priority of, U.S. Ser. No. 09/388,986, filed Sep. 2, 1999 now U.S. Pat. No. 6,308,591, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated herein by reference.
Control rods are well known components of heavy truck suspensions wherein they are widely used as torque rods and referred to as “torque rods”. The present invention relates to new and improved control rods particularly suited for heavy truck suspensions wherein control rods have been a standard component for over seventy-five years. A control rod is a linkage, which transmits longitudinal and transverse forces from the axle to the frame or suspension component of a vehicle such as a heavy duty truck. The forces acting on the ends of a control rod linkage include torsion, radial, axial and conical patterns as described in SAE J 1183, Elastomeric Bushing TRAC.
The control rods provided by the present invention are characterized by having a spacer rod, which is generally C or U-shaped in cross-section, to the opposite ends of which bushing tubes are welded. The opposite ends of the spacer rod are shaped or contoured so as to have mating or line engagement with the exterior side surface of the bushing tube which is welded to each end of the spacer rod. The welds joining each end of the spacer rod to the bushing tubes are at least substantially complete in that they follow the interior and exterior of each end of the spacer rod. By reason of their C or U-shaped open cross-section the spacer rods have excellent strength on the basis of their weight and permit at least the substantially complete perimeter welds that join their opposite ends to the bushing tubes and thereby provide maximum strength.
Accordingly, the object of the invention generally stated is the provision of new and improved control rods for truck suspensions and other uses, which are economical to make in a variety of sizes utilizing readily available production procedures and equipment. Specifically, the invention applies to low volumes of multiple length low volume control rods.
For a more complete understanding of the nature and scope of the invention reference may now be had to the following detailed description of one embodiment taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of one end of a control rod embodying the present invention and showing the end of the rod component or member welded to a bushing tube;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of a control rod embodying the invention;
FIG. 3 is an elevational view of the control rod taken on line 3—3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line 4—4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic view showing the optimum location of each end of the spacer rod component with respect to axial loading and to the bushing tube to which it is welded; and
FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic view showing an end of the spacer rod component geometrically centered with respect to a bushing tube.
Referring to FIGS. 1-4 a control rod embodying the present invention is indicated generally at 5 therein comprisin a spacer 6 to the opposite ends of which bushing tubes 7 are secured by welding. The spacer component 6 shown has a C or U-shaped cross-section. Each end of the spacer 6 is shaped or contoured so as to have line contact or engagement with the cylindrical side surfaces of the bushing tubes 8 which contain each bushing 7. It will be noted from FIGS. 1-4 and particularly FIG. 4 that the weld W that joins each end of the spacer 6 to a bushing tube 8 is complete or at least substantially complete (i.e. endless) following both the interior and exterior line of engagement between the end of the spacer rod and the side surface of the bushing tube. By reason of the complete perimeter weld W being substantially complete on both interior and exterior of the spacer 6 the joiner of the spacer rod 6 to the bushing tubes 8 the weld is appreciably stronger than if the spacer 6 were hollow in the form of a tube and the weld was thereby confined to the exterior only. Thus, the open-section geometry allows a material increase in the effective weld length as compared to closed sections of equivalent cross-sectional areas and package space. In addition, the chances of shear weld failure from axial loading are at least nearly eliminated due to the weld symmetry. Axial loading is common for longitudinal control rod designs used on heavy trucks during braking and acceleration as well as transverse control rod designs during cornering.
It has been ascertained that the position or geometry of the location of the end of a staker 6 to a bushing tube 8 is important in providing an optimized section and weld design therebetween. Specifically, it has been ascertained that the center-of-mass or channel neutral axis of the spacer rod 6 should be at or juxtaposed to the geometrical center of the bushing tube 8 as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. In FIG. 4 the center-of-mass is indicated at C. In FIG. 4 the point C is located midway between the top and bottom of bushing tube 8 but slightly horizontally offset to the right of the midpoint between the open side and closed side of the bushing tube 8. The small offset to the right is equal to the dimension L/2 minus the small distance N which is necessary to complete welding across the material thickness. It will be seen from FIGS. 4 and 5 that the distance A between the closed or rear side of the spacer 6 and the adjacent side of the bushing tube 8 is appreciably greater than the distance B between the open ends of the spacer rod and the adjacent side of the bushing tube. The relative positioning of the end of the spacer rod 6 and bushing tube 8 illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5 substantially aligns the axial force vector with the channel center-of-mass thereby minimizing bending stress effects and approaching the pure axial load observed in closed section rods. As a result, the open section control rod life is appreciably increased in axial loading while remaining compliant in torsion. Compliance in torsion is not generally observed on conventional closed section rods used in heavy truck torque rod applications. As a result, such torque rod bushings 7 tend to fail much earlier in service and often dictate excessive rebushing costs or control rod replacement depending on the end user. Control rods having open channel cross-section spacer rods in accordance with the present invention are generally over twice as compliant torsionally and thereby extend bushing service life and save end user cost.
The geometric relationship between the spacer 6 and the bushing tube 8 in FIG. 5 corresponds to the positioning shown in FIG. 4. However, in FIG. 6 which corresponds in scale to FIG. 5 the spacer rod 6 is geometrically centered or positioned with respect to the side of the bushing tube to which it is joined. Thus the spacer rod 6 in FIG. 6 is centered both with respect to the top and bottom of the bushing tube as well as with respect to the vertical sides of the bushing tube. Accordingly the distances C are equal in FIG. 6.
A free body diagram analysis has been conducted in known manner to compare the axial stress of control rods having the spacer r component 6 joined to the bushing tubes 8 as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 on one hand and in FIG. 6 on the other hand. According to such free body diagram analysis a control rod conforming to FIGS. 4 and 5 exhibits twenty-five percent less stress in axial loading than a control rod conforming to FIG. 6.
The procedure used in locating the center-of-mass or center of gravity of the spacer 6 at or juxtaposed to the geometrical center of the bushing tube 8 according to FIGS. 4 and 5 prior to welding is well known and is described, for example, in Machinery's Handbook, Industrial Press Inc., New York, 24th Edition at page 119.
The spacer components 6 of the control rods 5 may be cut to length from standard C or U-shaped rods. Alternately, they can be readily formed from sheet metal stock which is formed to desired cross-sectional dimensions and shape. Known low cost sheet metal forming practices and equipment may be used in forming the rods with C or U-shaped cross sections.
The weld W (FIG. 4) can be formed using known welding equipment and procedures. The weld W can be made either in several steps or in a continuous manner. In any case it must be substantially complete in order to achieve optimum results.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7445220||Oct 1, 2004||Nov 4, 2008||Daimler Trucks North America Llc||Vehicle axle apparatus|
|US7878517||Feb 1, 2011||Daimler Trucks North America Llc||Vehicle axle apparatus|
|US8777245 *||Nov 16, 2012||Jul 15, 2014||The Pullman Company||Optimized wall thickness torque rod|
|US20050173883 *||Oct 1, 2004||Aug 11, 2005||Freightliner, Llc||Vehicle axle apparatus|
|US20090066048 *||Sep 23, 2008||Mar 12, 2009||Daimler Trucks North America Llc||Vehicle axle apparatus|
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|U.S. Classification||228/164, 228/171, 228/173.4|
|Cooperative Classification||F16C7/02, B60G2206/11, Y10T74/2159, B60G2206/1112, Y10T74/2153, Y10T74/2142|
|Aug 11, 2006||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Aug 11, 2010||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Aug 11, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12